Today, Starbucks hosted its 30th annual meeting of shareholders virtually. Mellody Hobson, Starbucks Board of Directors chair, joined Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer, for opening remarks following today’s news that Johnson made the personal decision to retire from Starbucks after 13 years of service.
Following opening remarks, Johnson, joined by several members of the leadership team and green apron partners (employees) from around the world, went on to outline Starbucks continued investments and aspirations for people and the planet, and the company’s optimism for a future rooted in humanity, fueled by innovation, and architected by green apron partners.
Here are the important things to know about today’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders:
Starbucks announces leadership transition
Earlier today, Starbucks announced that Kevin Johnson intends to retire after a 13-year tenure at the company, including the last five years as ceo. Johnson will transition from his current role effective April 4, 2022 and will continue to serve as a Starbucks partner and special consultant to the company and Board of Directors through September. To ensure seamless stewardship of the company until a permanent successor is named, the Board has appointed Howard Schultz as interim chief executive officer, effective April 4, 2022.
Building on the rich heritage of the company, Johnson established the People Positive, Planet Positive and Profit Positive framework that seeks to create a better world for Starbucks partners, farmers, customers and the communities it serves. He expanded the company’s reach through the Global Coffee Alliance with Nestlé, which now operates in nearly 80 markets, and established and executed the Growth at Scale agenda that significantly increased shareholder value.
Helping customers and partners divert waste from the landfill
Starbucks has spent the last few years testing, learning, and preparing to scale initiatives that help protect the planet as the company looks to a resource positive future. With a focus on waste reduction, Starbucks announced customers will be able to use their own personal reusable cup for every Starbucks visit in the U.S. and Canada – including in-store, in the drive-thru and via mobile order and pay – by the end of 2023. This is a big deal because currently, personal reusable cups are only accepted in-store. By 2025, Starbucks wants to create a cultural movement towards reusables by giving customers easy access to either a personal or a Starbucks-provided reusable cup for every visit.
And because Starbucks knows that putting items in the correct bin has a huge impact on diverting waste from the landfill, the company has also launched a waste and recycling app, developed by partners to navigate the ins-and-outs of recycling guidelines for their local store. Across Starbucks stores in the United States and Canada, there are over 440 unique ways to recycle, and previous to the app’s launch, over 8,000 of our stores were already doing some form of recycling. Learn more here.
Recharge yourself and your car at Starbucks
Currently, Starbucks company-operated stores in the U.S. are powered with 100% renewable energy, and now we get to help power our customers cars with renewable energy. Beginning this summer, Volvo electric vehicle chargers, powered by ChargePoint, will be available at up to 15 Starbucks stores along a 1,350-mile route from the Colorado Rockies to the Starbucks Support Center (headquarters) in Seattle. We know infrastructure is the primary reason customers hesitate or decide not to purchase an electric vehicle. By providing charging infrastructure customers can count on, we are hoping to remove that barrier with the added benefit of being able to order your favorite Starbucks beverage while you wait.
Supporting communities around the world and being a People Positive company
Starbucks is committed to being People Positive – a bold aspiration to enhance the well-being of one billion people who connect with Starbucks by 2030 – rooted in opportunity, inclusion, and community. Starbucks, in partnership with The Starbucks Foundation, has committed to a series of announcements to support the People Positive aspiration and strengthen communities around the world, including:
- Launching a new Global Community Impact Grants portfolio, committing $30 million by 2030 to drive locally relevant impact in the communities where Starbucks operates
- Expanding the Foundation’s goal to positively impact one million women and girls in coffee- tea- and cocoa growing communities by 2030, building on its insights and impact to date and recognizing the potential to unlock even more opportunities in origin communities
1,000 Starbucks Community Stores by 2030
As part of the company’s goal to enhance the well-being of all who connect with Starbucks the company plans to open or dedicate 1,000 Starbucks Community Stores by 2030, building on the 150 already open around the globe. These stores seek to uplift communities by offering locally relevant programs and experiences that directly impact the neighborhoods they serve. Starbucks community stores deliver economic opportunity through local hiring and artist collaborations, working with diverse contractors, and creating spaces for people to come together or support local veterans and military families.
A more inclusive and accessible Starbucks Experience
Announced earlier this week, Starbucks has committed to implementing physical and digital experiences that meet an elevated standards of accessibility by 2030. These new standards will offer customers more ways to communicate (visually, audibly and tactically) and provide more tools to navigate physical store environments. To advance these standards, Starbucks is testing technology solutions in select store locations including speech-to-text technology that provides a visual display for partners and customers placing or picking up an order, as well as new in-store order boards that update customers when their order is ready.
These efforts build on other accessibility offerings, including free Aira service for blind or low-vision customers, large-print and Braille menus at all stores in the U.S. and Canada, and the 11 Signing Stores that Starbucks operates globally, where baristas can connect to customers who are deaf or hard of hearing through sign language.
Listening and learning to elevate the partner experience
Starbucks reaffirmed its commitment to listening, learning, and working with partners to deliver measurable value for partners, customers, and shareholders. Starbucks reiterated its incremental $1 billion investment in wage, training, and benefits to include:
- Increased partner pay over the next 18 months, with starting wages of $15-23 per hour by this summer
- Seniority pay increase of up to 5% and 10% for eligible partners with two years and over five years of services, respectively
- Increase recruitment with a goal of hiring 5,000 new partners each week
Introducing: Starbucks Clover Vertica Brewer
Starbucks has spent more than 50 years on a journey to perfect coffee and Starbucks is continuing its mission to innovate around coffee equipment and brewing. Starbucks will continue raising the bar on coffee by introducing our new proprietary single cup, on-demand brewer, Clover Vertica™, which reimagines the brewed coffee experience for partners (baristas) and customers by delivering a single cup of freshly brewed coffee with exquisite, beautifully pronounced flavors - in less than 30 seconds. The Clover Vertica™ brewer started rolling out this calendar year.